NTF/UTF Seminar Series
This seminar series provided an opportunity for colleagues to hear about the work of our National and University Teaching Fellows; and to facilitate the sharing of their approaches and experiences in teaching and learning.
Professor Kevin Orr: Signature pedagogies: exploring subject-specialist teaching and learning for professional courses
As so many of our courses are directly work-related Kevin presented an argument for how subject-specialist knowledge might inform subject-specialist pedagogy within courses leading to any given occupational area. Drawing on his research on and practice in teaching on professional courses he made the case for, and challenged, the idea of professions having signature pedagogies. He led discussion around how vocational or subject expertise of teachers can shape their decisions about teaching and learning and also presented how we might research to judge if pedagogical interventions make any difference to how students learn.
Kevin was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2014. He is Professor of Work and Learning in the School of Education and Professional Development.
Dr Carlo Fabricatore: Embedding sustainability meaningfully into the curriculum: a 'wicked' problem
Carlo shared his current teaching-related research which investigates common ways of fostering student engagement with sustainability issues and embedding these into the curriculum. Based on the concept of wicked* problems the approach focusses on contextualising selected assignments so that students learn through actively engaging in sustainability-relevant, meaningful scenarios, rather than passively learning about sustainability through taught sessions. Thus promoting the development of high-order thinking skills required to deal with sustainability wicked problems, and enhancing students' caring for, awareness and comprehension of these problems.
*'Wicked' is used in this context to define complex problems which, among other traits, admit no definitive solution, nor can be described in a comprehensive way. Thus, they require continuous engagement, analysis and adaptation to cope with them, understanding them as much as possible to manage shifting equilibria rather than trying (pointlessly) to 'control' them.
Carlo was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship in 2015. His specialist teaching areas are game design and development, interaction design, software engineering, and management. His research interests are centred on the impacts of play and games on learning and human development in social communities and enterprises.
Professor Michael Clarke: Teaching and research beyond text
Being involved in Music Technology, Michael’s work has always used technology as a means of producing sound. For many years he has also developed resources using interactive software to enhance teaching. He has been keen to explore how technology can open up new possibilities and expand the range of options in teaching and research beyond what is possible using written and spoken text alone. In this session Michael demonstrated some of the resources he has been involved in developing and led a discussion on the wider use of interactive software in teaching.
Awarded National Teaching Fellowship in 2011, Michael is Dean of the Graduate School; prior to taking up this role he was Director of Research in the School of Music, Humanities and Media.
Andrew Walsh: Playing at Uni: Play, games, and creative teaching to transform student learning
In this hands on session Andrew covered why play, games, and related creative teaching activities are a valuable way of improving learning opportunities and transforming student understanding. He talked about some examples of activities which he had used and how they've developed, and how attendees could try something similar. He also discussed why games aren’t just for children, aren't just about "fun", but are a way of developing enterprising students as researchers in a safe, secure and challenging environment.
Awarded National Teaching Fellowship in 2011, Andrew has undertaken a number of projects to improve teaching and learning, especially concerning mobile learning in Libraries. For further details see Andrew's report for the HEA at: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/game-based-learning-and-it-literacy
Professor Janet Hargreaves: A productive and happy collaboration: why working together works
Throughout Janet's career she has aimed to work in a collegiate way; a situation which though often messy and difficult can also be ultimately rewarding. In this session Janet drew on a range of projects that had positive outcomes as well as pitfalls – many of which were unpredicted – as a starting point for discussion around the highs and lows of attempting to meet project outcomes though collaboration. Colleagues were invited to share experiences from their practice with a focus on the group identifying ideas for maximising the success of working in partnership.
Dr James McDowell: Optimising technology-enhanced learning to promote student engagement
James talked about how undertaking doctoral research in the field of technology-enhanced learning influenced his professional practice, highlighting how both cognitive and social theories of learning informed his development of an integrated model for video-enhanced learning, assessment and feedback. Affording greater inclusivity for learners affected by learning difficulties including dyslexia and Asperger's Syndrome, this work led to James receiving the Epigeum Award for Most Effective Use of Video, and later being named Winner in the student-led Thank You Awards, before being awarded his University Teaching Fellowship and a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
Dr Rupert Ward: If Technology is the answer, what’s the question?
Rupert explained how technology has been a key part of his journey to gaining his national teaching fellowship (awarded in 2013), explained the lessons he had learnt along the way and how these influenced his current work. He shared his thoughts on the increasing use of educational technology in data analysis within universities and how systems, dashboards and targeted interventions are precursors to the next big challenge in higher education.
Dr Jane Tobbell
University Teaching Fellow(awarded 2013) Dr Jane Tobbell talked about her research which investigated educational transitions at all levels, from schools to postgraduate study. This research demonstrates that the underpinning challenges of transition can be understood in terms of learner identity struggling to participate in new communities of practice. Dr Tobbell discussed how contemporary learning theory (socio-cultural approaches including Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner and Wenger) challenges traditional pedagogic models. The session concluded with the opportunity for group discussion surrounding the implications for teaching and learning at HE level.
National Teaching Fellow, Graham Gibbs looked at his early work in producing online materials and developing VLE systems as well as paper and computer-based educational resources. He then focused on creating and using Open Educational Resources (OERs), examining some of the key issues including making OERs, finding OERs, reuse/adaptation of OERs, sustainability of OERs, and embedding OEWs into assessment.
Professor Glenn Hardaker
National Teaching Fellow, Professor Glenn Hardaker, shared experiences and explored some findings from his more recent research fieldwork that explores ways to bridge the longstanding gap between modern approaches to pedagogy, which encourage innovation, and traditional notions of Islamic education, which may be perceived as stifling it. The session also provided opportunities to discuss Glenn’s experience of the National Teaching Fellowship and his more recent Ron Cooke International Scholarship. Glenn left the University this February to become Professor of Technology Mediated Teaching and Learning at University Brunei Darussalam, in their Institute of Education.
Dr Jonathan Glazzard
University Teaching Fellow (awarded in 2012) Dr Jonathan Glazzard from the School of Education and Professional Development opened this new series of lunchtime sessions on Monday 9 December.
At this session Dr Glazzard shared some of the strategies which resulted in all of the BA Primary Undergraduates achieving either a first or 2.1 classification in 2013. Jonathan leads the Primary Education provision at the University of Huddersfield; following the Ofsted inspection in 2012 his courses were judged to be outstanding across all aspects of the inspection framework. Read what happened at Jonathan's session.